Here’s the write up for our sixteenth Scarlet Citadel session. Hopefully these write ups will prove useful to others running the adventure.
You can read earlier posts here. This post contains spoilers for Scarlet Citadel.
We had everyone here for this session for the first time since the unexpected TPK in Session 14. Despite it being four weeks since this happened, the two missing players still didn’t know their friends’ characters were dead, giving me the perfect opportunity to surprise them.
I started the session with the two absent characters returning to Redtower after ten days away. Cauldvyr had been attending the Druidic festival of the quarter moon; Farthrum had been undergoing repairs to his gearforged body. Not finding their friends Allia, Dimitar and Torander at the Cage, they visited Zula the witch to see if she’d seen them. Zula revealed she hadn’t seen them for ten days, but a trio of clerics had been to see her also looking for the adventurers.
Armed with this information Cauldvyr and Farthrum headed for the Scarlet Citadel. En route, they came across a fallen tree and a dead owlbear, obstacles overcome by the new cleric PCs, the United Church of Sub-Optimals, last session.
At the ruins, the pair meet the three clerics, Maya, Clairmont and Tunde, and realise they are looking for the same missing individuals. Farthrum gives the priests a very broad (and hilarious) overview of the dungeon and its dangers, but forgets to mention the presence of undead. At this point, the two returning players finally realise that the other characters are dead.
After some deliberation, the characters let the Iron Spike dwarf captured by the three clerics last session go and head through the Underkeep to Level 1. Farthrum leads the way, triggering the tripwire on the stairs yet again! The cascade of bones sent tumbling down the steps alerts a troupe of skeletons led by a minotaur skeleton who are wandering the corridors.
Then, in the Oubliette, the party finds their three missing comrades. Allia, Dimitar and Torander have been hung on meat hooks over the pit. As the characters enter, they animate as zombies and attack.
Tunde kills her brother Dimitar’s zombie with a guiding bolt and Maya slays Zombie Torander. When Zombie Allia and several skeletons are turned, the adventurers seize the moment and take the bodies of Dimitar and Torander up to the Underkeep.
Returning downstairs, the party heads towards the torture chamber. Cauldvyr lags behind (as is his wont) and is attacked by a boot grabber (Creature Codex) and a darkmantle. I’d come up with this encounter to ambush stragglers a while ago but this was the first time I’d used it. I don’t think it will be the last!
Clairmont sent his familiar, Pop the weasel, scouting ahead, only for the little chap to be shot by a skeleton. Yet another battle in the infamous torture chamber ensued with standard and clacking skeletons (Creature Codex) as well as Zombie Allia. Fittingly, it was Allia’s player, now playing Maya, who finished off her zombie alter ego. With the skeletons all destroyed, the group headed up to the Underkeep with Allia’s body for a long rest.
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